Red Cross issues urgent call for blood donations following severe winter weather

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Nationwide, severe weather prompted the closure of more than 150 blood drives, causing 5,500 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected, a Red Cross press release stated.

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types.

The American Red Cross is continuing to provide aid to countless people impacted by fires this winter.

Winter is usually a slow time for blood donors, because of the hectic holiday schedules and cold and flu season.

"In fact, 38 percent of people in the United States are actually eligible to donate at any given time, so if you can't donate, you're in the majority, and that's part of the reason why we need so many people to donate", he said.

Scott said the goal of Suster's drive was to filled 78 or 79 donor slots and successfully collect 60 donations of blood.

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Sallie Coron, the coordinator of blood collections for the U.P. Regional Blood Center has reported a steady amount of donations for the month so far.

The Red Cross encourages individuals to make a donation appointment and to complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to help speed up the donation process. Numerous donors, Scott said, were new donors, something that is common at high school blood drives.

There are certain height and weight requirements to be allowed to donate.

"All blood types are needed, especially O-negative, which is a universal blood type and can be used for anyone".

While serving local hospitals is the first priority, the Red Cross can move blood products to where they're needed most. Having blood for emergencies, their hospital partners, cancer patients and burn victims is vital.

Type B negative can be transfused to Rh-positive or negative patients. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

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